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Racing Louisville names Christy Holly first head coach

File Photo Courtesy Sky Blue FC

Christy Holly was officially unveiled Wednesday as the first coach for Racing Louisville FC, which will join the National Women’s Soccer League as its 10th team in 2021. The Athletic’s Meg Linehan first reported the news on Twitter and The Equalizer later confirmed the hiring with multiple sources.

“It’s first class, and I have no doubt in my mind that the club’s resources and facilities are going to be the best in the league,” Holly said in the release announcing his hiring. “The stadium’s the perfect fit for the NWSL, where we’re able to have a good crowd there and a full stadium feeling. We’ll generate a great atmosphere at games.”

A native of Derry in Northern Ireland, Holly coached Sky Blue FC in 2016 and part of 2017 before resigning somewhat abruptly following a 5-0 loss in Orlando. He amassed a record of 14-17-7. He is now engaged to former Sky Blue and U.S. national team captain Christie Pearce Rampone. Upon his departure from Sky Blue, several players said the relationship between player and coach created a tense environment that undid much of the good vibes created by a surprisingly competitive 2016 at the club.

Holly has recently served as a scout for U.S. Soccer.

“I’ve been fortunate the last three years to be scouring the world for talent,” Holly said. “There shouldn’t be a player that I’m not aware of. When it comes to our recruitment, we’ll be very particular. It’s not just about the player. It’s about the person. They have to fit the culture that we have at the organization.”

Holly was hired just days before the 2016 NWSL draft, which he nailed by trading up to select Raquel Rodriguez at No. 2 and, later, Leah Galton, Erica Skroski, and Caroline Casey. The following year, he had his eye on Clemson goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, who he selected as the 23rd pick. Sheridan has developed into one of the top goalkeepers in the NWSL and has become a regular with the Canadian national team.

Racing Louisville has yet to add a player to its roster but will soon be able to select players in an expansion draft. They have been permitted to identify discovery players since May.

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